Just about every business goo-roo online will give you advice on how to gain new customers.
But how many make retention an emphasis?
Very few… and that’s probably because keeping customers is nowhere near as sexy as gaining customers.
Interestingly, the best businesses in the world put retention as a higher-order priority over acquisition…
And Apple is the king of it.
I’ve only bought a non-Apple product once since I was 18.
It was a Sony phone… and it sucked.
I felt so out of place with my Sony that it only took me six months to walk back into Apple with my hands outstretched like Oliver Twist:
“Can I have an iPhone, please?”
Have you ever wondered why Apple puts retention way above acquisition?
Once you see the numbers, it just makes sense:
It costs 5-25x times less to keep a customer, than it costs to gain a new one.
In my case, it costs Apple exactly $0 to keep me as a loyal customer.
But to convert a diehard Android user? A tonne of money would have to go into sub-conscious, un-conscious, and conscious marketing to get a PC guy across the line (the only thing more diehard than Apple users are PC users).
See what’s going on here?
The chances are, though, we’re approaching this in our own business the opposite way.
We’re putting 5-25x less effort into keeping our customers, than trying to gain new ones.
Bit arse-backwards if you ask me (and I say so from experience of making the same mistake).
One of the best ways of getting retention back on the scorecard and putting it in focus is with automation.
And there are heaps of easy ways to leverage it, too. Like:
1. Using automation to ensure onboarding is thorough and personalised so you don’t have hiccups that leave a bitter taste in the customer’s mouth.
2. Using automation ensures you follow through on your brand promises and do what you say you’ll do. No trust? No retention.
3. Using automation to implement customer feedback loops, like the Net Promoter Score, which is widely accepted as the ultimate question to gauge customer satisfaction (if you’re interested, the creator of NPS Fred Reichheld, has a book on the topic).
4. Using automation to roll out a ‘continued education program for onboarded clients’. This ensures your customers continue to understand and believe everything required to continue to see the need for your service.
5. Using automation to capitalise on social proof by broadcasting your success stories to your current client base on a regular cadence.
6. Using automation to leverage reciprocity. When a client has a win, associate that win with your product by asking for a Google review. Easy enough to do, rarely capitalised on.
7. Using automation to leverage referrals because a referring customer is a customer that has the highest personal satisfaction with you. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it certainly gives you a taste of how automation can save you tens of thousands of dollars in marketing costs by not having to pay for acquisition.
Because, after all, a customer saved is a customer gained.
– Karl Goodman